it's an everyday kind of thing
Yep, as a matter of fact, we are a week into August already. This means we’re almost two thirds of the way through 2022. School is back in session here in the South.
How about this: On August first I spotted my first Christmas display in a store.
And I thought it was been too early for Halloween stuff.
How does this make you feel?
(Not the holiday part, just the August part.)
It makes me feel weird. And old. And like I still have so much to do. And I wonder where does the time go?
And then I have to remind myself to be patient.
I remind myself that there is more to life than just being productive.
Yes, work is important, earning a living is important, being a contributing member of society is important.
But you know what else is important?
You. Feeding your soul.
Do you know what feeds the soul?
In her book, Wild, Cheryl Strayed talks about powerful life advice her mother gave her:
“There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it. Put yourself in the way of beauty.”
This is our assignment for the month of August, the daily practice we’ll incorporate:
Put yourself in the way of beauty.
The assignment isn’t to experience every sunrise and sunset—although, if you can, awesome.
Rather, it’s to adjust your eyes and brain to look for beauty, and put yourself in situations to see it.
If I ask you to focus on the color red, you’ll notice all of the red things in your line of sight, almost to the exclusion of not-red objects. When you set your brain on a task like that, it goes into overachiever mode, saying “lookit how good I am at spotting red: cookie tin, picture frame, greeting card, bookshelf, Dutch oven, coffee mug.”
Don’t congratulate yourself too much, we’re biologically hardwired for this. It helps us in spotting prey (wooly mammoth) and food resources (blueberries).
A friend collects sightings of heart shapes in the wild--it can be anything from a grease stain left behind from a slice of pizza to a leaf on the ground. She sees them everywhere. It isn’t that she lives in some sacred, rarified heart-shaped world, it’s that she asked her brain to find them, and viola! they’re everywhere.
So what is beautiful to you?
It could be a shaft of sunlight coming through the trees, the symmetry of seeds inside of a melon, tiny smudged handprints or pawprints on a window pane, a flower growing up through a crack in the sidewalk, a perfect slice of cake, a heart-shaped ketchup blob…
You get to decide.
And you don’t have to decide in advance, you can figure it out on the fly. One day a smiling crescent of Cheshire Cat moon can strike you as beautiful, and the next day it could be a smattering of rose petals floating in a puddle.
The key is that you must be on the lookout. And you have to put yourself in its path. So, yeah, maybe that means planning for a sunset or a moonrise—if that’s your jam. It could also mean creating that beauty yourself: doodling, singing, stacking rocks, arranging a little vignette of personal objects. OR, perhaps, you have to hunt that beauty down: instead of spending a free hour or afternoon watching Netflix or shopping, try going to a park or botanical garden or simply staring at clouds.
So, let’s play a game.
Let’s really look for beauty. Let’s find it in all of the shapes and places.
And let’s document it.
The easiest way is to snap a quick picture on your phone. You can also keep a list, either in a notebook or app. But seriously, we’re talking about beauty, save yourself one thousand words and take the picture, if you can.
One thing, every day. How hard can it be?
If you think I’m secretly trying to create neural pathways in your brain to make you more aware of beauty in your surroundings, you’re not wrong. Of all ulterior motives, this is an honorable one. So, get to work, get your eyes and brain into the life-isn’t-all-shit-and-there’s-a-lot-of-beauty-out-there mindset.
I want to create a collection of what we find beautiful.
Find your beauty.
Take a picture.
Post it on Instagram. Tag @rubistudios and #IridescentOrdinary
Post it on FB and tag @Rubi McGrory with #IridescentOrdinary
On Twitter, I’m @rubirubi #IridescentOrdinary (Be warned, I don’t really do Twitter.)
If you’re not a super public sharer, you can send me images in a reply to this email or via Instagram/FB. 1
At the end of a month, I’m going to make a compilation of all of our images. All of them, in a slideshow/video/art gallery kind of situation. With credit to you. Set to some music.
A little motivation:
I will choose one image AT RANDOM because
BEAUTY IS NOT A CONTEST, but to be shared.
Whosever image is chosen will win a packet of stickers and postcards as a thank you for taking part. The more images you share, the more your chance of winning.
Thank you for sharing and…
Get out there and put yourself in the path of beauty.
Do I have to specify no dick pics? I mean, I really hope not, but, just in case. Please, I’m sure your Johnson is a thing of rare beauty, I’ll take your word for it.